Studying abroad: Edu-vacation or trial by fire?

College life is wonderful and helps in shaping your career but going to college, especially if you choose to go abroad, is accompanied by countless fears and apprehensions.  We Indians are fascinated with the notion of life in Western countries. The idea of going abroad is so captivating itself that one can’t help but picture different scenarios in his/her head. There has been talk in recent times about whether or not it’s worth studying abroad.  A lot of undergraduate and postgraduate Indian students are choosing to study overseas. It has become something of a tradition now; indeed, studying overseas can surely change your life for the better. But will it take a turn for the better, or worse? Truthfully, for some aspirants it will and for others it won’t. In order to address the whole issue, we need to look at both the advantages and disadvantages of studying in a foreign country.

ADVANTAGES-

1)  Cultural Diversity- Living in a foreign country will give you the chance to learn and embrace the cultural gap and differences. Students going from India to study abroad may notice certain differences in lifestyle, daily habits, food habits and the like but will learn to deal with it as the time goes by. One may also enrich their knowledge of foreign cultures and traditions.

2) Better specialization in degrees- Studying abroad gives you the chance to acquire better specialization in the field of your choice. One can choose from a vast number of degree options, many of which aren’t available in India. Acquiring a degree from abroad opens a number of opportunities and can increase one’s chance of getting hired easily.

3) Potentially better job opportunities- Getting a job overseas is highly unlikely if you’ve studied only in your domestic universities. But someone with relevant international work experience, good communication skills, and specialized degrees from international institutes might get a job more easily than others. Getting a job abroad also paves the way to settle down there.

4) Personal growth- Whilst living abroad, most of the students have to do everything on their own including the daily tasks like cooking and cleaning. It helps make a young adult more independent. It also helps in building self-confidence and developing a sense of responsibility.

 

DISADVANTAGES-

1) Language gap- Indian college aspirants going to study in foreign countries may find it difficult to overcome the basic barriers of communication. One may also find it hard to understand the accent and it can act as a hurdle in adjusting to an altogether new place.

2) Isolation- Students may feel unwelcome and remain in seclusion in the foreign campus.  It may be a bit problematic to make new friends and adjusting to life in a new place.  Also, the linguistic and cultural gap can make it hard to adjust and adapt to new surroundings in a foreign university. In this situation, one may end up feeling lonely, depressed and unwanted. Some students also face discrimination at the hands of local students.

3) Expensive education- Going to college out of the country doesn’t come cheap. Parents will have to spend a huge amount on their child’s foreign degree. One has to take care of all the expenses including the college fees, accommodation, travel and food. Scholarships may or may not be available for the course of your particular choice. In order to make some money, students can also choose to take a part-time job abroad but it may very well result in falling behind in studies. Also, these expensive programs don’t guarantee that the student will land a job abroad; in fact, in today’s economic climate, companies abroad often think twice before hiring foreign students.

4) Homesickness- Many of us has never lived far away from home. Students going to study overseas may struggle with the idea of leaving family, friends, and relatives behind. Many students eventually feel homesick and long to return back home. This can be troublesome and will affect your social life, class performances and sometimes even your health.

 

One should consider all these options and many more before making the decision to study abroad.  The decision is yours; choose wisely!